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Teo opens up in press conference

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Notre Dame's star linebacker Manti Te'o talked to the press Wednesday and gave them another look at the man behind number 5.

Te'o spoke frankly about how he feels about both his and the team’s success and how he has become a leader.

Off the field, Te'o is soft-spoken, genuine, humble and incredibly focused on his one goal – not to lose.

If you ask his coach, he is the best leader Notre Dame has had for years.

And that leadership has made a difference on the field and off the field with walk on freshmen.

"I've never liked when we’re alone. You know, just felt left out, because I know how that felt. And I was always that kid that was left out."

That humbleness and humanity resonates with his teammates and builds trust and opens doors.

"Whenever you have guys around you that love you, and that respect you, and that would do anything for you, that's when you will experience a lot of success."

That success has translated into an unbeaten record for Notre Dame and Te'o's name being mentioned as a Heisman contender.

But Te'o is staying rooted in the reality of the here and now.

"We haven't done anything yet. Like I said, we're 6-0 not 12-0 yet."

Next up for Te'o and the Fighting Irish is Brigham Young University, known for its religious focus BASED on the Church of Latter Day saints, a religion which Te'o practices.

Even with a cousin and friends on the other side of the gridiron, te'o remains focused.

"For me, it's just game seven. You know I've been there before; I've made the mistake of being overly excited for a game and you know it hurt me."

A hurt he desperately never wants to feel again.

"My hate to lose is greater than my love to win. I hate losing, and that's what drives me."

Te'o and the Irish go head to head with BYU this Saturday at 3:30 at Notre Dame Stadium. 
 
 

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